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Spicy Duck Empanadas With Fire Sauce And Cilantro Cream

  • Yield: 4 servings


  • Dough:
  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon southwest seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lard
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 pound duck breast, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon southwest seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 fresh sweet corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup seeded and chopped poblano, new mexican green or anaheim chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups beef stock, in all
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons brunoise red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons brunoise yellow peppers
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. For the dough: In a mixing bowl combine the masa harina, flour, cornmeal, baking powder, southwest seasoning, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Cream in the lard and add the water a little at a time, working the mixture until all is completely incorporated. Using your hands, form the dough into a log about 12 inches long by 3 inches across and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
  • For the filling: In a saute pan, heat the olive oil. Season the duck meat with some essence. When the pan is smoking hot, add the duck and stir-fry for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the corn, peppers, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon southwest seasoning and saute for 1 minute. Add the shallots and garlic and continue sauteing for 1 minute. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the stock and bring to a boil. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup stock with the cornstarch and whisk into the filling mixture. Cook for 5 minutes over high heat. Remove from the heat and strain off the gravy. Return the gravy to a small saucepan and bring up to a boil and let reduce for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator, divide it into 4 equal sections about 3 inches long, and carefully roll each of them out between sheets of plastic wrap to an 8-inch circle, about 1/4 inch thick. The dough must be handled with care to keep it from cracking. Brush the dough rounds with some of the egg wash. Mound a generous 1/3 cup of the filling in the middle of each round of dough, fold over to form a half-moon pie shape, and crimp the edges with a fork. Brush the tops of the empanadas with more egg wash, place them on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
  • For cilantro cream. In a small mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice and fresh chopped cilantro together. Mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the empanadas from the oven. Cut an empanada open exposing the filling. Spoon the gravy on the bottom of the plate. Place the cut empanada in the center of the plate. Dab the cilantro cream on top and dirty the rim. Garnish with red peppers, yellow peppers and fresh cilantro.